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New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof Moves Closer to Running for Governor

Kristof’s attorneys say he meets state’s residency requirement.

In response to questions WW raised about whether he meets Oregon’s three-year residency requirement to run for governor, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof released a 15-page legal opinion to the newspaper this week, making the case that he meets the standard—despite having voted in New York in November 2020.

The document is the clearest evidence yet that Kristof, a Democrat, intends to seek the governor’s mansion.

Some observers are skeptical that Kristof qualifies: “To vote in New York, a person must attest, i.e. swear under penalty of perjury, to being a ‘resident’ of New York,” says Greg Chaimov, an elections lawyer. “In November 2020, Mr. Kristof attested that his ‘permanent and principal home’ was in New York,”

But Kristof’s attorneys, who include Misha Isaak, a former general counsel to Gov. Kate Brown, strongly disagree.

They say Kristof’s vote in New York is irrelevant and note instead that he grew up here, has long owned property and paid taxes here, and has always considered Oregon his home.

“Kristof is eligible for the position of governor as he will have been ‘a resident within this State’ for a period of ‘three years next preceding his election,’ within the meaning of Article V, section 2 of the Oregon Constitution,” the legal opinion says. “Kristof will readily establish that his Oregon residency began on or before November 8, 2019. Accordingly, he is eligible to serve.”